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1878 Martin Map or Profile View of the Hoosac Tunnel, Massachusetts


Profile of Hoosac Mountain, Showing Tunnel.
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Title:    Profile of Hoosac Mountain, Showing Tunnel.

Description:    A wonderful and extremely scarce 1878 map or profile view of the Hoosac Mountain, Massachusetts by Edward S. Martin. This profile is a cross section of Hoosac Mountain (also called Hoosic), part of the Berkshires Mountains of Massachusetts. It illustrates the Hoosac Tunnel, constructed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Troy and Greenfield Railroad between 1848 and 1876. The construction of the Hoosac Tunnel, then referred to as 'The Great Bore,' was a major undertaking and heavily criticized in its day. Oliver Wendell Holmes, lamenting the vast expense of the project famously jested that he'd like to 'wall up a dozen lawyers at one end of the tunnel and put a good fee at the other.' When it was finally completed in 1876, two years before this view was issued, the Hoosac Tunnel was the world's second longest at 4.75 miles (7.64km) and considered something of a local wonder.

The profile offered here covers the length of the tunnel from its west to east, including its several ventilation shafts. Two signal houses, the Cold River and the Rice Brook are also noted. The view is further illustrated by two vignette views of the tunnel entrance and exit. The signature of tunnel's Chief Engineer William P. Granger appears in the upper right quadrant. The bottom of the view includes details relating to the length, construction, and names of people associated with the project.

The map is accompanied by a booklet entitled The Hoosac, illustrating miners descending the shaft on its cover. It includes a 16 page 'History of the Hoosac Tunnel', a poem by E. A. Wright, 'Only a Tunneller', a list of hotels on the Hoosac Tunnel Line, and a few other advertisements. This map was in printed by Forbes Company of Boston and copyrighted by Edward S. Martin of North Adams, Massachusetts, in 1878. Martin issued an earlier version of this chart in 1877, however, the present example is an entirely new engraving. The 1877 edition exists only three known examples, all held by institutional collections. The present 1878 edition offered here is the only known example.


Date:    1878 (dated)

Source:    Martin E. S. The Hoosac, Boston, 1878.

Size:   Printed area measures 27 x 11 inches (68.58 x 27.94 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 12000

Condition:    Very good. Minor wear and toning, with few light damp stains visible along original fold lines. Folds into original booklet. Minor verso repair near left margin, where attached to booklet. Booklet in good condition with some spotting on cover.

Code:   HoosacTunnel-martin-1878 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    View , Martin , Hoosac Mountain , Berkshire Mountains , Railroad Map , Forbes

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